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Lake Baikal - Russia

Lake Baikal sits in Southern Siberia in Russia, located between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, near the city of Irkutsk. Also known as the "Blue Eye of Siberia," it contains more water than all the North American Great Lakes combined. At 1,637 meters (5,371 ft), Lake Baikal constitutes the deepest lake in the world, and the largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, holding approximately 20 percent of the world's total surface fresh water.

Indigenous people call Lake Baikal the "Sacred Sea" in admiration of its majestic beauty and size. Blessed with ample biodiversity, the lake itself provides habitat for more than 1,500 plant and animal species found nowhere else on earth. In fact, the world's only freshwater seal lives here, in the amazingly clear water of Baikal.

Wonderful 3 week eco tours are offered by EarthIsLand.org. The good folks at the Great Baikal Trail Association can help you plan and arrange for any number of individual or small-group tours from out of their home offices in Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude. The trip will include a unique voyage to Baikal's remoter islands, where large rocks offer a natural "blind" from which these dark-eyed seals can be photographed. One goal of this eco tour is to generate added interest among local peoples for protecting these unique mammals.

If you're an ecotourist just looking for a sustainable place to stay in the area so you can enjoy and explore this great lake at your own leisure, then the Hotel 'Uyut' is the place for you. The hotel is built from environmentally-friendly materials by an individual special project developed by the best designers of Euro Class.

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